From tasty console exclusives to innovative indies, Sony’s PlayStation 4 has plenty of great video games vast and small to sink your teeth into.
But beyond the obvious hits and the lauded breakout successes, there are quite a few extremely rewarding experiences that are decidedly less well regarded, or talked-about, than they deserve to be.
Here are 10 terrific underrated games on the PS4 that you may not have played, but definitely should.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
Rather less well-regarded and treasured than its universally-beloved predecessor, some slightly questionable level-design, a crazily tough difficulty curve and an increase in the surreal cutscenes left certain critics and gamers cold. And yet, Wrong Number retains pretty much every quality that made the original great, and actively enhances its neon-soaked, puzzle-slaughter gameplay with new neat touches (dual-wielding, double gunmen and the police station ‘commando’ make you feel like you’re in a terrific gaudy B-Movie). Plus, the barnstoming soundtrack may even be (whisper it) better than the first game’s sensational score.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Serving up one of the greatest, most under-appreciated stories in recent gaming memory, Ubisoft’s moving puzzler tackles the horrors of the First World War with real grace, originality, and an emotional punch. The beautiful visual style is but one of the qualities that make it well-worth your time.
Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition
As we recently noted, Darksiders is rather in the shadow of the much more famous God Of War. But it deserves far more respect and adoration than it has so far garnered – with Darksiders II, now out on PS4 in a bumper revamped version – the pick of the two games. What it lacks in a compelling story, it more than makes up for in spectacle and exhilarating hack and slash combat.
While it may not reach the same dizzy heights as obvious comparison point Limbo, Upper One’s captivating blend of indigenous Alaskan myth and 2D puzzle-platforming still provides striking moments of wonder, pathos and awe. Guiding a young girl and her Arctic fox companion through treacherous snow-drifts, mysterious forests and the deep, dark belly of a whale, Never Alone is refreshingly original and gently challenging in equal measure.
The Evil Within
Shinji Mikami’s divisive return to survival-horror is flawed, yes, but it is also a genuinely enjoyable goofy and gory slice of B-Movie infused thrills, packed full of spooky locations, intense outbursts of action, and some bona fide brown-trouser inducing scares. As we pointed out a while back, it also neatly tips its hat to practically every notable recent game and movie from the genre – and as such is a must for dedicated horror fans.
Who would have thought that a game about cultivating a giant plant would prove so compelling? Highly original, distinctive and fun, Ubisoft’s colourful and quirky adventure casts you as one of the most adorable robot characters around, on a mission to craft a beanstalk to the stars on a remote planet. Fun, fun and more fun.
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Space Nazis, dual-wielding weapons and giant robot dogs? Yes please! If 2014 was the year when the FPS once again found its groove, then Wolfenstein: The New Order was definitely helping it blaze a bullet-spewing trail in the right direction. Mixing extremely enjoyable old-school gunplay with surprisingly excellent stealth sections, it’s a quirky yet polished shooter that finally does modern justice to the iconic Wolfenstein name.
Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition
Drawing on colourful, zany Mexican folklore and imagery, this superlative side-scrolling action hoot casts you as a supernaturally-powered wrestler on a mission to save El Presidente’s daughter. It’s as entertaining as it sounds, with our reviewer hailing the special PS4 edition as “eye-catching”, “funny” and “unique” in his glowing review.
Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell proves he’s no indie one-hit wonder with this thoroughly intriguing experience: a Metal Gear-inspired adventure that also doubles as a cyberspace take on the Robin Hood legend. Tasking the player with completing sneaky ‘heists’ in a VR simulator, it’s one of the most engaging stealth games currently available.
Combining both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light into one mouthwatering package, complete with some nifty new changes and additions, this is one next-gen bundle that screams ‘buy me’. Bafflingly still an under-the-radar proposition, these cult classics in waiting offer a wealth of nerve-jangling suspense, stealth and FPS action in the ruined post-apocalyptic subways of a nuclear-ravaged Moscow, and nail-biting forays onto the shattered surface too. If you haven’t taken the plunge into the world of Metro yet, you’re in for a surprisingly complex, compelling and atmospheric treat.